Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

Winter fishing on Norfork Lake near Hummingbird Hideaway Resort is in full swing. Fishing is good for most species. My favorite, striper fishing, has been good.  To find the stripers find the bait. Bait and stripers are both suspended 40 – 70 feet down in 80 – 120 feet of water. The stripers will be on top of the bait, buried in the middle of it and sometimes on the bottom of the bait stream. Electronics are very helpful this time of year in finding the bait and marking the fish. My favorite winter spot for striped bass is anywhere from the 62 bridge columns down to the Howard Cove area. The fish and bait are moving to different spots throughout this area. Four days ago, I was marking bait and catching stripers in front of Howard Cove and for the last several days they were located between the two bridges. On January 15th I landed a monster 25 pound striper in front of Howard Cove. Yesterday a friend landed another 25 pound fish by the 62 Bridge. I don’t know why, but the bait moves and the fish follow. Vertical jigging with a spoon is working very well as is live bait.

The big 3 pound white bass bite is also very good. You will find them in the same location as the stripers. The whites will typically be buried in the bait down 60 feet. Vertical jigging with a spoon or live bait is working. When jigging with a spoon only light twitches are needed and you need to be ready to set the hook, the bite is very light. The same slow presentation for striped bass is working.

The bite for largemouth and spotted bass is good. Look for these fish at points on the deep water bluff lines. I have found the bigger fish in 40 – 50 feet of water and the smaller ones up in 20 feet of water. I like to vertical jig with a spoon, but jig & pigs as well as grubs are working well. ¼ ounce or a little larger jig heads should be used. Cast your bait out and let it fall to the bottom then work it back slowly. Watch your line as the bait falls since the fish may pick it up at any time.

Crappie fishing has also been OK. I have not been crappie fishing myself, but crappie are being caught on the deeper brush piles in 40 + feet of water. Crappie are suspended on the tops of the brush. Small spoons, grubs or live minnows are all good baits this time of year. Same as the other species work the bait slowly.

The Norfork Lake level is currently at 550.65. The surface water temperature is in the mid 40’s. The main lake is clear and the creeks and coves are still stained.


Happy fishing and see you on the lake.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Norfork Lake Fishing Report

  • Happy New Year To All! May 2015 bring many heavy limits!
Winter fishing on Norfork Lake continues to be good. As you can tell by my photos I enjoy striper fishing. The bite for striped bass has been strong. I fished today and ended up landing 2 limits of stripers and hybrids. The fish are in or close to deep water channels and they are suspended anywhere form 30 - 60 feet down. I did not see any huge schools of fish, but instead found small clusters of 2 - 10 fish swimming together. They are feeding on small 2 - 4 inch thread fin shad, so large baits are not needed at this time. Later in the day they seemed to move out of the channels to nearby deep flats. At around 2:30PM I started finding fish on the bottom in 60 feet of water. Yes, these fish are roaming so the main thing you need to look for is bait. Find bait and you will typically find the fish. It is a large area, but start looking from the 62 bridge down toward the 101 boat dock and over toward Walker Hollow. I have been using live shiners as well as vertical jigging with a spoon. When jigging with a spoon,
you do not need to move the bait very fast, small light twitches have been working for me.
Largemouth bass fishing is also good. I have been finding these fish in 2 different areas. 1) along deep water bluff lines in 45 - 52 feet of water. The fish are on the bottom and if you can find a point along the bluff line it will be the best spot. 2) suspended in deep water down 30 - 50 feet feeding on shad. I have been catching nice  largemouth out in 70- 80 feet of water in the same areas where I am fishing for stripers. I caught 4 keeper largemouth today. Slow down your presentation, with the cold water the fish are moving slower.

White bass are roaming and chasing shad. Three days ago I found large schools of big whites and smaller hybrids in 45 - 50 feet of water on the bottom in a large flat area. I have also been catching some really big whites while striper fishing. They are usually buried within streams of bait 60 feet down.

I haven't been crappie fishing lately, but I have been given good reports that they are on deep brush piles. You will find the fish 20 - 40 feet down over sunken brush. Look for the fish up higher on the brush at sunrise and sunset, down deeper during the middle of the day.

Norfork Lake surface water temperature today was 47 degrees. The water level is still rising slowly with minimal power generation and currently sits at 550.76. The backs of creeks are still a little brown from the resent rain, but the main lake is clear. Lake condition is overall excellent.

Happy fishing and see you on the lake.